DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20150859

The future physicians of United Arab Emirates: how do they self-medicate?

Syed Ilyas Shehnaz, Nelofer Khan, Jayadevan Sreedharan, Mohamed Arifulla

Abstract


Background: Health professions have been a predictive factor for self-medication (SM). SM practices of medical students, the future practitioners will have a bearing on their impending professional practice. The aims were to identify prevalence and practice of SM among the medical students of Gulf Medical University (GMU), United Arab Emirates and to assess the associating factors.

Methods: The study was planned as a cross-sectional descriptive survey among 247 medical students of GMU. Students from 1st to 5th year were included in the study. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 19. Associations were tested with Chi-square test.

Results: SM with both over-the-counter medications and prescription-only medicines was practiced by 65% of students. The prevalence of SM was associated with the year of study and age. The most common sources of drugs were private pharmacies and stocks at home. The students mostly relied on themselves and parents for drug selection. The self-reliance significantly increased with year of study. Common indications for SM were headache and flu symptoms and correspondingly, analgesics and antipyretics were frequently used. A high prevalence of misuse of antibiotics was also reported. SM was 2.9 times higher (95% CI=1.502-5.620) among students belonging to families practicing SM.

Conclusion: The study revealed a fairly high rate of prevalence of SM among the medical students of GMU, which was associated with age and year of study. There is a need to emphasize responsible SM practices among the medical students by accentuating rational drug use in the curricula.


Keywords


Medical students, Self-medication, Prevalence, United Arab Emirates

Full Text:

PDF

References


World Health Organization. The role of the pharmacist in self-care and self-medication. Report of the 4th WHO Consultative Group on the Role of the Pharmacist. The Hague: 1998. Available at http://www.apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/65860/1/WHO_DAP_98.13.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2015.

World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines for the Regulatory Assessment of Medicinal Products for Use in Self-Medication. Available at http://www.apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2218e/1.html. Accessed 28 June 2015.

Hughes CM, McElnay JC, Fleming GF. Benefits and risks of self medication. Drug Saf. 2001;24(14):1027-37.

Zafar SN, Syed R, Waqar S, Zubairi AJ, Vaqar T, Shaikh M, et al. Self-medication amongst university students of Karachi: prevalence, knowledge and attitudes. J Pak Med Assoc. 2008;58(4):214-7.

Sawalha AF. A descriptive study of self-medication practices among Palestinian medical and nonmedical university students. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2008;4(2):164-72.

Abasaeed A, Vlcek J, Abuelkhair M, Kubena A. Self-medication with antibiotics by the community of Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009;3(7):491-7.

National Bureau of Statistics. United Arab Emirates. 2012. Available at http://www.uaestatistics.gov.ae. Accessed 28 June 2015.

Shehnaz SI, Khan N, Sreedharan J, Issa KJ, Arifulla M. Self-medication and related health complaints among expatriate high school students in the United Arab Emirates. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2013;11(4):211-8.

Montgomery AJ, Bradley C, Rochfort A, Panagopoulou E. A review of self-medication in physicians and medical students. Occup Med (Lond). 2011;61(7):490-7.

Aljinovic-Vucic V, Trkulja V, Lackovic Z. Content of home pharmacies and self-medication practices in households of pharmacy and medical students in Zagreb, Croatia: findings in 2001 with a reference to 1977. Croat Med J. 2005;46:74-80.

Corrêa da Silva MG, Soares MC, Muccillo-Baisch AL. Self-medication in university students from the city of Rio Grande, Brazil. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:339.

James H, Handu SS, Al Khaja KA, Otoom S, Sequeira RP. Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students. Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(4):270-5.

James H, Handu SS, Khaja KA, Sequeira RP. Influence of medical training on self-medication by students. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008;46(1):23-9.

Abay SM, Amelo W. Assessment of self-medication practices among medical, pharmacy, and health science students in Gondar university, Ethiopia. J Young Pharm. 2010;2(3):306-10.

Badiger S, Kundapur R, Jain A, Kumar A, Pattanshetty S, Thakolkaran N, et al. Self-medication patterns among medical students in South India. Australas Med J. 2012;5(4):217-20.

Pandya RN, Jhaveri KS, Vyas FI, Patel VJ. Prevalence, pattern and perceptions of self-medication in medical students. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2013;2:275-80.

Kumar N, Kanchan T, Unnikrishnan B, Rekha T, Mithra P, Kulkarni V, et al. Perceptions and practices of self-medication among medical students in coastal South India. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e72247.

El Ezz NF, Ez-Elarab HS. Knowledge, attitude and practice of medical students towards self medication at Ain Shams University, Egypt. J Prev Med Hyg. 2011;52(4):196-200.

Lam CL, Catarivas MG, Munro C, Lauder IJ. Self-medication among Hong Kong Chinese. Soc Sci Med. 1994;39(12):1641-7.

Shadbolt NE. Attitudes to healthcare and self-care among junior medical officers: a preliminary report. Med J Aust. 2002;177 Suppl: S19-20.

National Bureau of Statistics. United Arab Emirates. 2012. Available at http://www.uaestatistics.gov.ae/ReportPDF/Population%20Estimates%202006%20-%202010.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2015.

Auta A, Banwat SB, Francis RA. Prevalence of prescription medication sharing behaviour among students. Int J Pharm Life Sci. 2011;2(4):651-4.

Daniel KL, Honein MA, Moore CA. Sharing prescription medication among teenage girls: potential danger to unplanned/undiagnosed pregnancies. Pediatrics. 2003;111:1167-70.

Heath Authority, Abu Dhabi. United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health Registration and Drug Control Department. Available at http://www.haad.ae/HAAD/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=8YIa2Sz8nDE%3D&tabid=207. Accessed 28 June 2015.

Mainous AG 3rd, Diaz VA, Carnemolla M. Factors affecting Latino adults’ use of antibiotics for self-medication. J Am Board Fam Med. 2008;21(2):128-34.

Awad A, Eltayeb I, Matowe L, Thalib L. Self-medication with antibiotics and antimalarials in the community of Khartoum State, Sudan. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2005;8(2):326-31.

Kotwani A, Wattal C, Joshi PC, Holloway K. Irrational use of antibiotics and role of the pharmacist: an insight from a qualitative study in New Delhi, India. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2012;37(3):308-12.

Dameh M, Green J, Norris P. Over-the-counter sales of antibiotics from community pharmacies in Abu Dhabi. Pharm World Sci. 2010;32(5):643-50.

Zdziarski P, Simon K, Majda J. Overuse of high stability antibiotics and its consequences in public and environmental health. Acta Microbiol Pol. 2003;52(1):5-13.

WHO, Fact sheet N°194. Antimicrobial resistance, 2002. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/. Accessed 28 June 2015.

Carrasco-Garrido P, Jiménez-García R, Hernández Barrera V, López de Andrés A, Gil de Miguel A. Patterns of medication use in the immigrant population resident in Spain: associated factors. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2009;18(8):743-50.